Waste from a business perspective can be described as pretty much anything that does not add any value to a customer. This is a key concept of LEAN.
So what are the types of Waste in LEAN?
- Inventory – holding information and material longer than required, for example, piles of unprocessed work, unread emails, overstocked marketing materials.
- Transport – unnecessary movement of work, for example, files being transported from one location to the other.
- Waiting – causing delays or stoppages, for example, waiting for instructions, waiting for the next production steps.
- Motion – the non-value-added movement of people such as unnecessary meetings or walking to copier and printer.
- Waiting – this causes delays or stoppages, for example, waiting for instructions, waiting for the next production step.
- Inventory – holding information and material longer than required, for example, piles of unprocessed work, unread emails or overstocked marketing materials.
- Overproduction – unnecessary effort producing work in excess or ahead of customer requirements. Think of printing paperwork before it is needed or processing items before they are required in the next process step.
- Over-processing – unnecessary activity due to complex processes and systems, such as too many approvals or an application form where the same data is needed in different places.
- Defect – the effort involved in inspecting for and fixing defects, such as data entry errors.
- Un-utilized People – this covers aspects such as improvement ideas by people on the floor not captured or restricting employee’s responsibility to make routine decisions.